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International Journal of Reconfigurable Computing
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3298734, 20 pages
Research Article

Real-Time Control System for Improved Precision and Throughput in an Ultrafast Carbon Fiber Placement Robot Using a SoC FPGA Extended Processing Platform

1CONACYT-Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico
2Lab-STICC-CNRS/ComposiTIC, Lorient, France
3Coriolis Composites, Lorient, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Gilberto Ochoa-Ruiz; xm.gau.ude@aohco.otreblig

Received 19 December 2016; Revised 8 May 2017; Accepted 22 May 2017; Published 5 July 2017

Academic Editor: Bibhu P. Panigrahi

Copyright © 2017 Gilberto Ochoa-Ruiz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present an architecture for accelerating the processing and execution of control commands in an ultrafast fiber placement robot. The system consists of a robotic arm designed by Coriolis Composites whose purpose is to move along a surface, on which composite fibers are deposed, via an independently controlled head. In first system implementation, the control commands were sent via Profibus by a PLC, limiting the reaction time and thus the precision of the fiber placement and the maximum throughput. Therefore, a custom real-time solution was imperative in order to ameliorate the performance and to meet the stringent requirements of the target industry (avionics, aeronautical systems). The solution presented in this paper is based on the use of a SoC FPGA processing platform running a real-time operating system (FreeRTOS), which has enabled an improved comamnd retrieval mechanism. The system’s placement precision was improved by a factor of 20 (from 1 mm to 0.05 mm), while the maximum achievable throughput was 1 m/s, compared to the average 30 cm/s provided by the original solution, enabling fabricating more complex and larger pieces in a significant fraction of the time.